The ‘Battle of the Businesses’ programme is a compulsory requirement for all business students in my school. It is designed to enhance and complement the knowledge and understanding of the business world that the students are acquiring on their Business and Management course. However, it has more of an emphasis on business skills and attitudes such as teamwork, organisation, planning, public speaking, communication, determination, interpersonal skills and leadership. It also encourages students to apply the analytical techniques and tools that students have learnt to real life businesses.
The programme consists of two phases. Each phase is concluded by a presentation made by each group of students to a jury of business experts, which lasts approximately fifteen minutes, plus ten minutes of questioning by the jury. The jury then decides on a winning team for each phase.
Phase I – August – December.
In Phase I students in teams have to investigate a small company which is located here in São Paulo. The companies researched could consist of restaurants, hotels and shops for example. The students have to select the business, contact it themselves and have to collect primary data (eg. interview the owners, survey the employees) to obtain the information needed for the presentation.
This phase is excellent preparation for the internal assessment element of the I. B. Business and Management higher level course (students have to investigate and produce a report on a real business for their internal assessment).
Phase II – January – June.
The second phase requires the teams to use the knowledge and experience that they have gained to come up with a plausible business idea. This phase is more challenging than Phase I. They have to produce a detailed business plan, which outlines how their business idea is going to be financed, organised, launched, structured and implemented here in Sao Paulo.
This phase assesses the students’ entrepreneurial skills. Are they capable of setting up a business from scratch business here in Sao Paulo that would be successful?
Here are some photos of the programme:-